Beef Vegetable Soup
Beef Vegetable Soup

When I was a child I honestly don't recall many soups being served that didn't come from a red and white can. There were navy beans and cornbread (not really soup) and mom's split pea with ham (still a favorite today), but other than that we were soup-less unless it was prepackaged.

I do remember one phase that mom went through which was making soups from canisters of "Homemade Soup Starter". Even as a kid I detected an "off" taste to each and none was my favorite. For some reason the one that stands out the most is the beef soup.

It was a small cardboard canister filled with dehydrated veggies, powdered soup stock and small pasta shells. The only thing the consumer was to do was to "Add 1 lb. of beef cubes" and the requisite amounts of water and stew away.

It worked, but it honestly didn't work well. I still haven't come across a soup from a package that I truly love. Here, then is my fresh version of that canister of soup.

Beef Vegetable Soup
Serves 8
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours 20 minutes

1 1/2 pounds beef cubes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 medium onion - chopped
2 medium carrots - peeled and diced
2 stalks celery - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
3 medium potatoes - peeled and diced
1 cup finely diced tomatoes
8 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh Thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 cup small shell pasta
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup fresh or frozen cut green beans

1 Combine beef cubes, salt and pepper and stir.
2. In a large heavy bottomed soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add beef. Brown on all sides.
3. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are translucent.
4. Pour in stock. Stir and add potatoes and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours until veggies and beef are very tender.
5. Add bay leaf and thyme. Add remaining veggies and pasta and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
6. Remove bay leaf and taste for seasoning before serving.